There is an air about traveling to Costa Rica that brings to mind the word “adventure.” And while relaxing on the beach with a cocktail is on everyone’s list of things to do here, sprinkling in a little exotic activity in can be just the right combination to yield a perfect vacation. One of the best adventures in all of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais is a private charter to Isla Tortuga. This 6-hour tour that includes multiple snorkeling spots, private beaches, plenty of wildlife and more is the ideal experience when imagining of tropical beach escapes.
The charter leaves at an easy 9AM from the Mal Pais fishing village, just down the road from Casa Chameleon Hotel and provides fresh fruit, water, snorkels and masks. The vessel has a roof, but because of the reflectiveness of the water we recommend bringing sunscreen. It’s easy to forget about sun protection when the first stop, just to start to build up the sense of adventure, is diving in over an underwater volcano! Swimming down against the rise of the bubbles is an unforgettable experience you’ll be sure to tell your friends about.
Tearing yourself away from the awesomeness of swimming above an active volcano might be difficult, but it’ll be worth it as the tour buzzes over to the next location. This time the object of astonishment is above the sea, reaching out of the waves and towering into the sky above the boat. Cabo Blanco Island is home of Costa Rica’s largest brown booby population and is an important bird sanctuary to other species such as frigate birds, laughing gulls, brown pelicans, and ospreys. So, whether you’re looking up into the sky or your head is buried beneath the waves there will be something worth pointing at.
From there you’ll have an opportunity to rest up, take a break, and enjoy some delicious fresh fruit as the crew take you about an hour around the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula and onward to Tortuga Island. This is one of the best places to snorkel on the peninsula as you’ll be able to snorkel around a series of rock formations surrounding the island that are teeming with undersea life such as Trigger fish, King Angelfish, Moray Eels, Flying Fish and a whole list of other exotic fish. After a snorkeling session, you’ll be able to choose from visiting the public beach where you can rent lounge chairs, use full bathrooms, and enjoy a traditional Costa Rican meal or continuing on to private beaches to enjoy alcoholic beverages and picnic items you may have brought along yourself. After some down time, the adventure pushes on even in route back to the fishing village with a final stop to witness the beauty of Tengo Mar waterfall spilling off of a cliff side and into the ocean.
It’s a lot to pack into just half a day, but with a late morning departure and plenty of time to get to sunset after returning to shore, there’s really no reason why you and up to five friends not to go. In fact, feel free to ask any of the Casa Chameleon Hotel staff to join if you need or want more people. This is one of the best things to do in Costa Rica and we like to partake as often as possible too!